New Delhi/Mumbai: In another attempt to save his BJP’s 25-year-old alliance in Maharashtra for the approaching Assembly elections, party president Amit Shah on Monday telephoned Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Reportedly, Shah urged Thackeray that the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance must continue and asked him to rethink on Sena’s “impractical” proposal.
The “maha alliance” between the BJP and the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra on Sunday appeared to be on the brink of collapse, after the former rejected the Sena’s “final” offer of 119 seats from the total 288 for the upcoming Assembly elections.
State BJP poll incharge Om Mathur also arrived in Mumbai on Monday morning to hold talks with Uddhav Thackeray in this regard.
Both Shiv Sena and BJP have shortlisted candidates but abstained from announcing the list, until the outcome of talks between the two parties.
Hours after Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s tough talk on seat-sharing that his party cannot give more than 119 seats, the BJP told its old alliance partner that it was the duty of both the parties to continue the tie-up and sort out issues instead of going through the media, a remark aimed at Mr Thackeray.
Later in the evening, in New Delhi, the BJP’s central election committee (CEC) and parliamentary board met to deliberate on the “troubled issue” in detail. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah were present at both the meetings. It is learnt that the central leadership of the BJP is under pressure from the state unit that unless a “respectable offer is made,” the party should think of going alone in the state polls.
“At our CEC meeting, we discussed about 170 seats, which include the 119 that the Sena has offered and 51 seats on which they have never won. However, a final decision on the issue of finalising candidates has been postponed for one more day to wait for our ally’s response,” sources said.
At the parliamentary board meeting, both the Prime Minister and the party president were informed by the state leaders that given the situation, “they would prefer to go alone.”
However, sources said that after the two meetings, Mr Modi and Mr Shah had a one-on-one meeting, where the Prime Minister is learnt to have asserted that, if possible, the “alliance should be saved.”
On Sunday, in Mumbai, the Shiv Sena made it clear that it won’t make any more concessions for the BJP. Mr Thackeray also reminded Mr Modi that late Sena supremo Bal Thackeray had backed him in the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots.